Cats, hats, eggs, ham; Whos? Seuss!

March 3, 2011 • Local News

The El Capitan Elementary School 4th-Grade Line Dancers pose for photos before taking the stage during an assembly celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Wednesday morning. (Mark Wilson Photo)

From there to here, and here to there, school children celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday are everywhere. Lunch ladies decided that, just for a change, they’d scramble a new kind of egg on the range; meanwhile, next door at another school, a special speaker read “If I Ran the Zoo.”

The Roswell Independent School District joined thousands of other schools across the nation Wednesday by participating in the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day— an annual reading celebration that encourages children to read.

The event takes place each [auth] year on March 2, the birthday of American writer and illustrator Theodor Seuss Geisel, or more popularly known as Dr. Seuss.

“Dr. Suess did something good for reading,” Michael Gottlieb, RISD superintendent, told a group of kindergartners wearing “Cat In the Hat” hats at Military Heights Elementary School. “He made reading fun!”

First lady Michelle Obama read to children at the Library of Congress Wednesday morning, while local parents, teachers and administrators read Dr. Seuss classics at the 12 elementary schools in the district. Gottlieb read “If I Ran the Zoo” aloud to the kids in Military Heights library, where his mother volunteers as a librarian.

Susan Sanchez, assistant superintendent of instruction, and Milburn Dolen, School Board president, also were guest readers.

“There’s just something about his story that kids love,” Terri Wiginton, a kindergarten teacher at Military Heights, said, noting that her students are unusually quiet when they listen to a Dr. Seuss story. “They are amazed at the words in the stories.”

Pecos Elementary served green eggs and ham for breakfast, and El Capitan Elementary hosted an entire assembly complete with line dancers and a choir to pay homage to the author who penned 44 children’s stories, including “Green Eggs and Ham,” “The Cat in the Hat,” “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” and “Horton Hears a Who!”

“Reading is always important in our school, so this is just a chance to celebrate reading,” Dr. Barbara Ryan, Pecos principal, said.

Even children under five years old joined in on the fun during story time at the Roswell Public Library. Kate Keith, assistant children’s librarian, donned a birthday cake hat and told the kids if Dr. Seuss were alive today, he would be 107 years old. He was born in 1904 and passed away in 1991.

Keith pointed to the last page of “One Fish, Two Fish” so that the 20 prekindergartners squirming around on mats in the children’s playroom could see and said, “Only Dr. Seuss would think up something like that: a fish driving a car.”

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